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Politics & Government

Kane Refuses To Suspend Criminally Charged Confidant

kathleenkane.jpg
Matt Rourke
/
AP
Attorney General Kathleen Kane

A close confidant to state Attorney General Kathleen Kane remains on the job, despite having been criminally charged for allegedly accessing secret grand jury information on her behalf.

Patrick Reese, a special agent who is part of Kane’s protection detail, was charged by Montgomery County prosecutors over a week ago in connection to the criminal case against Kane.

Reese pleaded not guilty to allegations that he rooted through Office of Attorney General employee e-mails in direct violation of a judge’s order to protect the secrecy of a grand jury that investigated Kane.

Kane’s spokesman Chuck Ardo said Reese’s employment status is “under review.” Reese's annual salary is $99,658.

That’s a breach of office policy, which says employees must be suspended without pay if they are charged with a crime related to their work. The same rule states that employees who are convicted on work-related criminal charges “shall be terminated.”

Prosecutors say two employees in Kane’s inner circle, Reese and special agent, David Peifer, were given access to a database that let them search and read employee e-mails. Peifer, who testified to the grand jury that investigated Kane, was not charged by prosecutors. In charging documents, prosecutors say e-mails Reese accessed would have shown him the subpoenas of witness called to testify before the grand jury investigating Kane, witnesses’ testimony dates, details of the judge’s protective order, and the identity of a grand juror.  

Both Reese and Peifer continue to have access to the e-mail database, according to Ardo.

 Kane is facing charges she leaked secret investigative material and then lied about it under oath. She says she’s innocent and will fight the charges without resigning her office.